« Uncommon leadership: lessons from Lady Gaga | Main | What an Iowa income tax might look like with a fresh start. »

How are your customers trying to reach you?

TweetDrew McLellan is the Top Dog at McLellan Marketing Group

Like much of central Iowa last week -- I was away on Spring Break. Our trip had a rocky start, to say the least. We get off the plane in Jamaica and head to the Sandals desk, assuming they're going to help us identify the bus that will take us to our selected resort so the fun can begin.

Instead, when we get to the desk we're told that they oversold our resort (the family one) and instead, we're going to be staying at the Couples Only resort.  

Now, when you're a dad who is traveling with his daughter and her boyfriend -- this is the definition of awkward.

They grab our luggage and put us on a van. Now what?

We're in a foreign country, in a moving vehicle, heading for a resort I do not want us at, I don't have the resort's phone number and I need some help sorting this mess out. And I don't really want to wait until we get to the wrong resort.

Fortunately -- the van has wifi. So I search for the Sandals twitter account and send them a couple tweets -- saying I am very unhappy about how this customer service issue is being handled.  

Voila....I get a tweet back, asking me to DM them.  (Which was smart -- demonstrate to everyone who is watching that you're listening but then move the complaint offline or to a more private venue).

Within a few tweets, the general manager has been alerted and will be waiting for me when we get off the van.

The story has a happy ending.  We're at the resort we originally booked and the weather and ocean are gorgeous... so all is well.

But, my story raises the question -- how are your customers reaching out to you and are you listening for them?  Sandals was clearly monitoring their account/Twitter and very quickly defused a problem.  

But so many organizations look at vehicles like Twitter and Facebook as a broadcast medium. They put their information out there like they're shouting through a bullhorn. But they don't bother to listen to see if anyone is talking back.

That's a dangerous practice. You need to be monitoring any social channels you're on in real time (you don't have to sit in front of your computer -- just use one of the many monitoring tools that send updates to your phone) so that when your customers use those tools to get your attention -- you're actually paying attention.

It used to be that if a customer had a question or complaint, they either sent a letter or called. Then, we added websites and suddenly they could communicate to us through contact forms or email addresses.  And now -- there's social channels.

When someone is having trouble -- they're going to use whichever tool they think will get the swiftest response from you. Which is why social is a natural choice. 

So what do you think it says to them if you're not listening.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
https://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83452ceb069e201b8d0eed2f7970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference How are your customers trying to reach you?:

Comments

We're thinking about the same topic today, Drew. We just posted on our blog tips for providing good customer service on social media. http://info.spindustry.com/blog/four-tips-to-provide-good-customer-service-on-social-channels

Digital has changed the customer service landscape because it has actually put the customer in control of the experience. At the end of the article is a link to a case study about Jet Blue's Twitter customer service - and it's phenomenal - check it out.

What does DM mean?

Jessica -- you are exactly right -- suddenly the customer is in command, whether the company acknowledges that or not. Jet Blue is certainly one of the leaders in harnessing technology as a customer service portal.

Rob -- DM = direct message. Thanks for reminding me to be careful about using jargon in blog posts!

Drew

The comments to this entry are closed.

« Uncommon leadership: lessons from Lady Gaga | Main | What an Iowa income tax might look like with a fresh start. »

Technorati Bookmark: How are your customers trying to reach you?

This site is intended for informational and conversational purposes, not to provide specific legal, investment, or tax advice.  Articles and opinions posted here are those of the author(s). Links to and from other sites are for informational purposes and are not an endorsement by this site’s sponsor.